Thursday, June 3, 2010


Farmmom was more than willing to take come pictures for me, since it meant she got to hang around and giggle at the fight.

So here's a brief photographic look at what we did yesterday:

First, we got saddled and worked the round pen, just to wake her up and get her listening.

Then, we started on ground driving. She wasn't really fond of the lead going around her butt to start with but she got over it and walked nicely, as you can see.

After that, it's a brief reminder on rein cues coming from a person in the immediate vicinity instead of on the end of a long lead.

Followed by stepping into the stirrup... just a note, I've been pulling on the saddle and leaning on her and hopping around beside her ever since I got her saddled the first time, just so that this would go smoothly. It did, she backed up a few steps to try and get me by her head so she could give me the "what the hell?" look that I'm growing so familiar with, but when I stayed right where I was she gave that up.

We did this several times, moving around the pen, making sure she was, if not totally kosher with it, then at least resigned.

For those of you who aren't all that interested in the horse training aspect, look at it this way, at least it gives you plenty of pictures of my butt....

And then we were on, and walking!

All in all it was a very successful day, we only bobbled and wanted to buck when I asked for a trot. The rest of the time, it was like this:

Farmmom was highly amused at her version of bucking, which his basically "hop hop hop stop" and her giggles and snorts were hard to ignore, but somehow I managed it.

This evening, we'll trot, whether she likes it or not. I did get about a half circuit of the pen at a trot out of her, without interruptions, she just has this idea in her head that if she doesn't like what's going on, she can refuse (in this case, stop and stand and try to graze) and it will stop. It doesn't work that way but she'll get it figured out, along with leg cues and that it's so much easier to just give to the bit instead of leaning on it. Leg cues aren't something you can start teaching before you actually get on, so that's just gonna take time, and she'll figure out leaning on the bit on her own as long as I'm consistent.

She's a smart cookie, and she's doing very well. Some trainers would say that I'm rushing her, but she's retaining what we're working on and her personality is such that if I give her a chance to get bored, she's going to take the opportunity to think up her own entertainments, which I can promise I wouldn't enjoy.

From here on out it's just getting the basics down, and then a lot of saddle time.


Scott McCray said...

Great progress! (and I promise I wasn't lookin' at yer butt - grins and crosses fingers)

Ambulance Driver said...

Wait... there's a horse somewhere in those pictures?!?

doubletrouble said...

I WAS gonna say... but AD beat me to it.

wv, and I'm not making this up:


robnrun said...

Looking good! From the pictures, anyway, she looks like she is consistently listening to you (if perhaps annoyed by this idea of 'work'); none of that panicked 'fight until I drop' that one sometimes sees.

phlegmfatale said...

It learns!
It learns!

Very nicely done, FarmGrrl!

Old NFO said...

hehehe- You are GOOD! :-) You're working the filly at a speed she will accept and keep her from being bored.

mustanger said...

I noticed the pic where you did rein cues from right next to her instead of on a long line. I've been working with my horse that way, but didn't realize anybody else did.

And it is possible to be interested in the horse training aspects *and* admire your butt at the same time. Something about a good lookin' woman who knows what she's doing.

Jon said...

At first, I wanted to post a snarky comment, but I realized you'd get plenty and it wouldn't relate how impressed I am.

Your client has made a good choice.

Farmgirl said...

Mustanger, there it was pretty much just a refresher... I'm here, I've got the reins, this is what we're doing. I do a lot of it in saddle as well, having her stand and give her head one way and then the other, just as a sort of wake up.

staghounds said...

A friend of mine in Denmark njust spent a LOT of money paying some local "horse whisperer" to do this sort of thing. You are ruining it for everybody! ;)

Here from Tam's.

mustanger said...

I have a friend in southern Arizona... we used to hang around and discuss this stuff when she lived in my area. "Horse whisperers" are just marketing. My friend said all this "new" horse training came from the old vaqueros. She said listen to several trainers who use the round pen methods because, while they use the same type methods, each one has a something that works better in different situations.